It's rare for the Mariners to give anything away but Michael McGlinchey admits this is his best season yet and that he has the title in his sights.
It-s hard to get emphatic statements out of footballers. Despite the professional athlete-s inherent need for self-confidence, the media-savvy stars of today are too careful of being seen to pump themselves up or disrespect the opposition.
So when asked if he-s playing the best football of his career, it-s nice to hear Michael McGlinchey agree - even if he does put it down to everyone else in his team.
“For sure, this is the best form I-ve been in,” says the Kiwi with the Scottish accent.
“It-s probably just confidence from the manager, the coaching staff and my teammates. The type of player I am, a manager like Arnie gives me the confidence to attack players; I might not get by them every time but he gives me that belief and confidence and that-s all I-m looking for.
“The previous years I-ve been OK but I-ve been in more of a defensive diamond role. But this season Arnie-s put me as one of the attacking three and that really suited my game.
“It-s given me a bit more licence and confidence, and I-ve been working on getting in the box more and getting more goals; I-d liked to have got a few more this season so hopefully I can get one on Sunday.”
Despite being rated as one of the players of the season, goals haven-t been McGlinchey-s currency this season, with only six to his name. Seven assist gives a better indication of the sort of work the 26-year-old does for Arnold-s side.
Now one of the competition-s most feared danger men in the final third, McGlinchey will be key to the Mariners chances of getting the better of Western Sydney-s miserly defence. Not that he-s expecting any quarter to be given by the Wanderers defenders.
“You have to stay patient,” he says. “It might be a cagey game, the two defences are very strong but when we get the ball into their final third, the danger players will try to turn it on.
“We-ve been working on those quick turnovers all season, that defensive structure and getting back quick after we lose it, we-re very hard on that and try not to give any space away.”
The Mariners rarely give anything away but McGlinchey is at least willing to admit the Grand Final has taken on a new level of importance for a club that have routinely identified the premier-s plate as their main target.
“We know the importance of the game. This season we set our goal to win the grand final and in previous years we-ve always gone for the premiership. But the rest of the country that doesn-t seem to be the main thing so we-ve set our sights elsewhere. We definitely want this one.”